In St Mary’s, over the last 750 years or so, countless couples have been united through the Christian marriage ceremony in the beautiful surroundings of our church. We like to imagine that something of their love and expectation has, over the centuries, sunk into our ancient walls. We therefore look forward to making every prospective bride and groom feel really welcome. We will try to answer all their questions and help them with everything that has to be arranged so that they may eventually be declared, before their families, friends, and God, to be husband and wife. Here is some preliminary information.
The Marriage service in church
A marriage service, wherever it is held, is a public declaration of love and commitment to your partner. If you decide to get married in church, you will be asked to promise before God, your friends and your families, that you will love, comfort, honour and protect your partner and be faithful to him, or her, as long as you both shall live. The minister conducting the service will also ask everyone present to declare that they will support and uphold your marriage.
Who can get married in St Mary’s?
Regulations came into force in 2008 called “The Church of England Marriage Measure 2008″. This does not affect the existing rights of parishioners to be married in their local church, but extends the entitlement to other people who might not qualify under the existing rules.
Engaged couples are entitled to be married in St Mary’s church if just one of these conditions applies from the existing regulations:
- If one, or both of them, are resident in the parish of St Mary’s Church, Shenfield.
- If one, or both of them, is entered on the church electoral roll of St Mary’s Church, Shenfield.
In addition, engaged couples, may make an application to be married in St Mary’s Church if one of the following new conditions applies from the 2008 regulations:
- One of them was baptised, or prepared for confirmation, in the parish and has had his or her confirmation entered in our church register book
- One of them has ever lived in the parish for six months or more
- One of them has, at any time, regularly attended public worship in the parish for six months or more
- One of their parents has lived in the parish for six months, or more, in their child’s lifetime, or one of their parents has habitually attended public worship in the parish for 6 months
- Their parents or grandparents were married in the parish
(All of these apply to Church of England services)
Making an application to marry in St Marys’ Church
If you want to apply to marry in St Mary’s please contact our Associate Minister,
The Reverend Eileen Lockhart, (Tel: 01277 822537)
When you meet the Minister, you will be able to discuss all aspects of the Christian marriage service itself.
We also provide extra detail in leaflets covering:
- Suggested music and hymns for the service
- Suitable readings
- A sample Order of Service
- Arranging Banns of Marriage at St Mary’s and another parish
- Arrangements for flowers in the church
- Choir and church bells
- Marriage rehearsal
- Marriage Fees